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The Dubai Ruler has paid a poignant tribute to his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, on his death anniversary. Taking to Twitter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said even though the “father of Dubai left us 32 years ago, his legacy did not”.
“His projects did not leave our streets and his lessons did not leave our minds. May God have mercy on the builder of Dubai, its architect, and the father of its people,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on Thursday.
Sheikh Mohammed was very close to his father and shared a beautiful bond with him. Last year, the Dubai Ruler had said that his most beautiful memories with his father were from the lessons and wisdom the latter instilled in him since childhood.
He previously described Sheikh Rashid as a "man of few words and lot of thinking".
In his book, Qissati, Sheikh Mohammed says the lessons he learnt from his father never end. “He was a whole school, a teacher, a wise man and a father figure to everyone. He always started his day with the dawn prayer. Even now, I wake up at the same time he did.”
Sheikh Rashid ruled Dubai from 1958 until his death in 1990. He played a pivotal role along with late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the UAE's union in 1971.
Known for his far-sightedness and statesmanship, he was credited with transforming Dubai into a world-class metropolis by opening the Dubai International Airport in 1960; Port Rashid in 1972; Dubai World Trade Centre in 1978; and Jebel Ali Port in 1979. Dubai Creek was built during his rule - Sheikh Rashid had it broadened and deepened, as its shallow water posed a threat to navigation and made it hard for large vessels to enter.
Referring to the creek project, Sheikh Mohammed writes in Qissati: “My father began his reign by focusing on the Dubai Creek. For him, the most important project was to expand the creek. He directed the authorities to increase the depth of the creek by drilling the rock and sand sediments, which were used later to regain the land covered by the sea.
This land area was sold later and the money was used to finance the costs of expanding the creek.”
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